Skip to main content

Festival 2018

Fratellis to roll onwards to Hebcelt headline show

The Fratellis’ most famous song is as familiar to football and ice hockey supporters as it is to fans at their live shows.

Next week it will be the turn of the Hebridean Celtic Festival audience to belt out the infectious chorus of ‘Chelsea Dagger’ which appeared on the band’s first album 12 years ago.

As well as a crowd pleaser at gigs, the song has been adopted, and adapted, by fans at both Celtic and Chelsea as well as followers of the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL.

Have The Fratellis ever played a live gig without singing ‘Chelsea Dagger’, or is it the law that it has to be included? “I think we've always played it and a couple of others from our first album”, said band frontman and songwriter Jon Fratelli. “If it became a ‘law’ we would stop playing it out of a sense of rebelliousness.

“It would be a bit childish, not to mention rude, to ask people to pay money for a ticket for a show and then purposely not play songs that are well known, I can't really see the need for that. We throw in enough in the way of new songs to keep ourselves happy as well.”

What is he expecting at HebCelt? “Well, I'd love some sunshine. Other than that, a gig to remember is always the goal. With us the very least people can expect is a lot of effort and a good dance.”

As well as earlier material, the band, who headline the island festival’s main stage on Friday 20 July, will showcase new songs from their fifth album ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’, which was released in March to critical acclaim and is already one of their favourites.

“(the album) was pretty painless to make”, said Jon. “It’s the happiest we’ve been with our work. We're not tortured artists; pop music tends to be at its best when it arrives unshackled and with a sense of ease.”

The Glasgow trio, who also consist of bass guitarist Barry Fratelli and drummer and backing vocalist Mince Fratelli, were formed in 2005. They won a Brit Award for Best Breakthrough Act, performed at Glastonbury, headlined NME’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour and T in the Park within three years. In 2009 they took a three-year break to pursue solo projects.

Last year they announced they were in Los Angeles to record the new album, teaming up again with six-time Grammy and Mercury nominated American producer Tony Hoffer with whom they collaborated on ‘Costello Music’.

Now having embarked on a UK and US tour, Jon is already writing for the next project, so what is inspiring him at the moment? “I’ve never really found that inspiration comes in any particularly concrete way, if it did life would be far less interesting.

“I do tend to mainly write at home, which is handy as I don't really do much of anything else!

“Leonard Cohen once said that if he knew where to find the good songs he'd go there more often and that makes perfect sense. Not knowing where the next idea is going to come from is something to be embraced I think.”

So, what’s does the future hold for The Fratellis? “We roll onwards until someone tells us to stop. It's always been that way and probably always will.”